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35 US states file antitrust case against Apple in support of Epic

The US Justice Department also weighed in, stating that the original ruling in the Epic vs Apple trial was "flawed"

A group of attorneys representing 35 US states weighed in as part of the appeal process of the Epic vs Apple trial, in support of the Fortnite developer.

In an antitrust lawsuit filed on Thursday, as reported by Reuters, the states supporting Epic's case reiterated that "Apple's conduct has harmed and is harming mobile app-developers and millions of citizens" as it "continues to monopolise app distribution and in-app payment solutions for iPhones, stifle competition, and amass supracompetitive profits within the almost trillion-dollar-a-year smartphone industry."

According to Bloomberg, the US Justice Department also weighed in, stating that the original ruling in the Epic vs Apple trial was "flawed" as a couple of provisions from the Sherman Act were "misapplied by the judge."

The filing from the Justice department said: "The district court committed several legal errors that could imperil effective antitrust enforcement, especially in the digital economy."

An Apple spokesperson said in a statement that the company is "optimistic" that the original ruling will be "affirmed on appeal." The company's legal response is expected in March.

In September, Judge Gonzalez Rogers issued a verdict siding with Epic Games on just one of the ten counts it was seeking against Apple in the long-awaited antitrust trial opposing the two companies.

While she found Apple in violation of California's Unfair Competition Law, she sided with Apple's counterclaim alleging a breach of contract by Epic, and ordered the Fortnite makers to pay Apple 30% of all revenues it collected directly through the iOS app since taking that option live in August of 2020.

Epic appealed against the decision shortly after, while Apple said it won't allow Fortnite back onto its platforms until after the judge's ruling has been finalised.

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Marie Dealessandri

Features Editor

Marie Dealessandri joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2019 to head its Academy section. A journalist since 2012, she started in games in 2016 at B2B magazine MCV. She can be found (rarely) tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate and the Dead Cells soundtrack.